Top 5 IWB Holsters: Concealed Success

OWB. IWB. AIWB. A lot of acronyms are thrown around about holsters, and you might be wondering both what they mean and whether it matters. It does matter which holster you select, and not just the style. Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) is a popular method of carrying a gun concealed. Appendix-Inside-the-Waistband (AIWB) is a form of IWB that involves wearing a concealed gun at the front of the body to one side or another of the midline.

So, why does it matter? Because you can’t simply buy a random holster, you have to choose carefully, and even then it’s normal to end up with a box of castoffs. If you’re interested in IWB with a side of AIWB, take a look at five IWB options we feel are worth a closer look.

1. Galco Kingtuk

Galco is a popular holster company that makes countless designs for untold numbers of firearms. Their holsters might be leather, Kydex, or hybrid; you could find one for IWB or another for a chest rig for going hunting. The Galco Kingtuk is one of the company’s more popular models and is offered with a few variations in size, shape, and material. This is a great option for those who prefer a large back piece to their holsters. Pros of a larger piece include protecting both your skin and the gun from one another, improved comfort, and an easier-to-conceal footprint. 

galco holster
The holster provides retention and has a Kydex clamshell face that covers the trigger guard. (Photo credit: Galco)

2. DeSantis Hidden Truth

If you’ve considered carrying a spare magazine for your self-defense handgun, you might have debated simply sticking it in your pocket, and whether it really needs its own holster. There are pros and cons to a completely separate magazine holster, but if you use a one-piece holster that retains both, it’s all good. That’s where the DeSantis Hidden Truth comes in. Both your gun and the mag will be exactly where you left them, the draw stroke for each will be in the same area, and you won’t have extra gear floating around. It has two clips to attach to your belt and is also adjustable for height and cant. This model is designed for AIWB, but it’s possible to use it at other locations on your belt as well, although that will affect the ease with which the spare mag is drawn.


desantis hidden truth IWB holster
The holster holds your daily carry gun and a spare magazine. (Photo credit: DeSantis)

3. PHLster Pro Holster 

PHLster is a company of incredible innovation despite their having been on the market for under a decade. The PHLster Pro Holster is a Kydex IWB design with a pair of durable loops for your gun belt. It’s ergonomically designed for comfort and concealment and provides a solid degree of retention. One of its features is the company’s ModWing to reduce printing. This model works with some of the manufacturer’s other accessories as well such as the TuckStrut or Grip Hooks. PHLster goes the extra mile to make its holsters as customizable as possible and also provides stellar videos and online forums that revolve entirely around learning about concealed carry.

PHLster pro IWB holster
The holster has two loops to secure it to the wearer’s belt. (Photo credit: PHLster)

4. Crossbreed MiniTuck

The Crossbreed MiniTuck is a hybrid IWB holster, meaning it has a leather back and a Kydex shell face. Belt clips are located at either end of the holster and are adjustable for cant and ride height. The shell that retains the holster is molded to fit the specific model of gun and covers the trigger guard. This is a holster that’s easy to wear thanks to the design. Crossbreed makes it in a variety of color combinations, too, so you can choose the color of both the backer and the shell.

Crossbreed MiniTuck hybrid IWB holster
The Crossbreed MiniTuck is a hybrid IWB holster made for compact carry guns. The shape of the holster’s back piece protects your skin from the gun’s slide while simultaneously protecting the metal of the gun from your skin. (Photo credit: Crossbreed)

5. Blackhawk Stache

The Blackhawk Stache is a basic, straightforward IWB holster created for a minimal profile to reduce printing. There’s a second version of the Stache available that includes an attached holster magazine as well. The basic model includes the holster itself and a clip for the user’s belt; the Premium model includes the magazine holder and concealment claw. It provides some retention and is adjustable for height and cant. The holster itself is injection molded and, due to its shape, compatible with pistols that have RDS mounted to them.

Blackhawk Stache IWB holster
The Blackhawk Stache is an IWB holster offered with and without a spare magazine attachment. The base model of the Stache is the gun holster only. (Photo credit: Blackhawk)

What’s your favorite IWB holster? Tell us in the comments section.

Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you've seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master's Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.

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